Anti-bullfight activists file complaint against attackers

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bullfightingAnti-bullfighting activists from the Vegan Strike Group have filed a complaint against attackers who assaulted them as they were being led from Albufeira bullring by the GNR.

Video taken at the August 9th bullfight in Albufeira recorded three activists invading the centre of the bullring to demonstrate against the contentious blood sport.

At least two activists were filmed as they were taken away from the bullring by the GNR. One clearly was subject to violent attacks from behind.

Peter Janssen of the Vegan Strike Group has submitted video evidence showing the activist being kicked and then hit with a bandarilla - a short coloured stick, often barbed, more usually deployed to goad bulls.

A complaint has been filed against the attackers who were not stopped or warned off by the GNR, despite the violence of the assault. The men's faces clearly are visible in the video clip so the authorities had little trouble in identifying them.

The GNR already has given its account of events to the Public Prosecution Service and an investigation has been opened.

The GNR has stated that in addition to the arrest of the three individuals who invaded the bullring, "two people have been identified in the clashes. The facts that occurred in the bullring were referred to the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Judicial Court of the District of Albufeira which is going through its legal procedures."

Peter Janssen said he was arrested and was being marched away by the GNR, with his hands behind his back, and that the GNR threw him to the ground in a violent manner.

While one activist is being taken from the area, one man kicks him from behind, another kicks him in the face and a third hits him twice in the back with a bandarilla, while all around the fans incite more violence using unprintable phraseology.

The Vegan Strike Group mounts protests in several countries and in Portugal, says Janssen, this is not the first time their protests have been met with violence.

"The people in Portugal who defend bullfights are using a lot of violence," say the activists.

Protoiro, Portugal’s official bullfighting association spokesman, fielded Hélder Milheiro, who lightly condemned the violence, adding, “...I won’t describe these international mercenaries as victims. This was a provocative act that attacked the rights of other citizens,” adding that bullfights are, “completely legal.”

On August 11th, the activists were at it again, this time at Zoomarine where six of them get into the dolphin pool to disrupt the show.

Members of the fee-paying public became agitated when they could not see dolphins perform for them.

In 2016 the Vegan Strike Group started a campaign to end dolphin shows around the world with the disruption at Zoomarine being the 13th such action.

The Vegan Strike Group claims to be the voice of animals exploited in the entertainment industry.

It's Facebook listing reads:

The Vegan Strike Group is an international organisation who fights animal abuse. Our campaigns are directed to defend animals who are enslaved and abused for human entertainment purposes; mainly in shows like bullfights and dolphinariums. We have stopped more than 30 bullfights in Spain, France, Portugal and Mexico. Our actions have been reported in television and newspapers.

We are a group of activists, of different countries, that travel across the world making direct actions and boycotting shows with animals, always in a peaceful way.

The International Vegan Strike Group focuses on stopping entertainment with animals; defending bulls and horses that suffer in and out the bullfight arena and dolphins that have lived captive in small pools, forced to perform against their natural behavior.


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